Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Of course all such conclusions about appropriate actions against the rich and powerful are based on a fundamental flaw: This is us, and that is them. This crucial principle, deeply embedded in Western culture, suffices to undermine even the most precise analogy and the most impeccable reasoning.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
When a man who thinks you need to break a vase to get the water out of it starts arguing that you need to invade a country in order to change the minds of its people, you might want to start paying attention to how his approach to the vase problem worked out.Thomas Friedman is not a president, a pope, a general on the field of battle or any other kind of man of action. He doesn’t actually do anything apart from talk about shit in a newspaper. So in my mind it’s highly relevant if his manner of speaking is fucked.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn't act on those crimes - but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world's oil supply, we begin to shriek about "evil."
Sunday, January 04, 2009
ARE you afraid that the eco nomic downturn could get out of hand? I mean, really out of hand?
Well, don't worry.
The US Army War College is on the case - ready to handle "unforeseen economic collapse" and the "rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US."
Many are wondering how the Arab regimes and the PCA can be so brazen in their "treachery" of the Palestinians. "Don't they fear being overthrown by the people?" is an oft-repeated question. The answer of course is a resounding "no." It is true that collaboration with Israel by Arab regimes is not new, and that what is new is merely their openness about it, but there is a perfectly good reason for this. In the 1940s and the 1950s, these regimes could not declare openly their alliance with Israel, as there were popular and international forces that would have removed them from power had they done so. Indeed, some at the time flirted with alliances that unofficially included Israel, like the Baghdad Pact, but they paid a heavy price for such collaboration. The Cold War, Third World revolutionism, Arab nationalism, the Soviet Union, China, Nasser, were all factors to be considered. While a few of these factors had remained when Egypt's Sadat declared his open alliance with the US and Israel in the late 1970s, none of these factors remains today. The US, Israel, and their major Arab allies have neutralized these forces one by one since 1967, opening the way for this brazen alliance between Israel and the Arab dictatorships, all of which are in the service of US interests in the region. These Arab regimes rule by terror and fear and have at their disposal the best secret police and repressive security apparatus that the US can train and equip and which oil money and US aid can buy.
When Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was asked point blank by al-Jazeera's anchorman if Israel had an arrangement with Arab regimes to commit the Gaza massacres, she refused to answer and finally denied such an arrangement existed but could not help but affirm that there are those in the Arab world who "think" as Israel does and that Hamas is their enemy as it is the enemy of Israel. This is, incidentally, the same Tzipi Livni, who only a few weeks ago informed Palestinian citizens of Israel that she has slated them for denationalization and deportation to the Palestinian Bantustans once Israel and the international community grants these West Bank prisons the status of an independent Palestinian state enclosed within the apartheid wall. After her war on Palestinians in Gaza started last week, Livni declared that her war against the Palestinian people is not only about security but also about Israel's "values" which non-collaborator Palestinians (unlike the PCA) do not share. Livni is of course right. Unlike Livni and the Israeli leadership, whose ethnic-cleansing ideals and plans are to make Israel a purely Jewish state that is Palästinenser-rein, most Palestinians believe that they should remain present on their lands even and especially if this sullies the purity of a Jewish Israel.
Livni has also asserted that Israel's values are shared by the "free world" and by unfree Arab regimes that are allies of the "free world." We can add, that her values are also shared by Saudi-funded neoliberal Arab intellectuals and by the leadership of the Palestinian Collaborationist Authority ensconced in the Green Zone of Ramallah. The civilized values of Israel are not unlike those espoused by the US in its ongoing wars against Arabs and Muslims, and are very much like European colonial values during the high age of colonialism and beyond. Livni and the Israeli leadership speak of human rights, democracy, peace, and justice as universal while applying them only to Jews and denying them especially to Palestinians. This is hardly an Israeli ruse. Let us remember the undying words of Frantz Fanon in this regard: "leave this Europe where they never tire of talking of man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe."